Sunday, December 30, 2012

Must for the Bride to Be

As plans ramp up and your focus is THE WEDDING at the expense of other aspects of your life, take the advice of many wedding planners and Practice Self Care. Do whatever you need to do to unwind, relax and sleep well. Take your vitamins, get healthy exercise and find emotional outlets for the stress you are under. Remember your groom. Do fun things together and plan together. This is not the time to get run down and “catch” the bug that is making the rounds. You need to be healthy and strong and resilient.

Get and stay organized. Start early and document every decision made around your special day. It doesn’t matter if you have high tech records or sheets of paper clipped together or in file folders or paper bags. Whatever system works for you- implement it early and keep it current.

Set a budget and stick to it. Early on the couple should sit down together and decide how much they can afford to spend on the wedding and where they feel it should be spent. Agree on priorities. Talk honestly with parents about their willingness and ability to contribute to the wedding. Look at the major expense items – reception costs, honeymoon, clothing, photographs, entertainment, and flowers. Working within those guidelines makes other decisions easier.

Remember to be grateful for all that you have and all that others are doing for you. You will get gifts, good wishes and offers of assistance. Remember to thank everyone for their offers. Weddings are joyous affairs and people want to be a part of a positive and exciting event that a marriage truly is.

Remember your plans and don’t be derailed. You’ve set your budget and made significant decisions. Don’t be tempted to play “one ups manship”. You’ll go to other weddings while planning yours and see lots of ideas. Some you’ll want to copy and others you won’t but before you do, remember your budget. This is your wedding – not a copy of your old college roommate’s big day. She had her event. You’ll have yours.

Let go of bridal guilt. No one can make everyone happy all the time. Worrying about it takes up far more time and energy than is deserved. Sometimes guilt is good. It can help us deal with the feelings of others. But most of the time, we are afraid we’ve let someone down. Do your best to be aware of the feelings of others and honor them when you can. But on the wedding day, you are there to please yourself and your groom as you begin your new life together.

For ideas or answers to your questions call Kristin Anderson at 708-268-7528 or email

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gifts you give

There are many special people who help make your wedding day a success. It is a nice token to say thank you for their help or their presence. Brides come to us for advice on what to give to members of the bridal party, to families and to guests. We have plenty of ideas that we are happy to share with our brides. Here are some of our guest gift favorites.

• Some of the most popular wedding favors are edibles. Wrapped chocolates or truffles in an attractive box that is imprinted with the couple’s names and date are a big favorite. Also popular are chocolate covered pretzels, nuts, fruits as well as chocolate hearts. In many areas, couples choose to give cookies frosted in wedding colors and packaged in tulle or color matched gift boxes. Some brides have chosen to give small wine bottles with personalized labels with or without wine charms that bear the wedding date and/or names of the couple.

• Couples are also giving living items that bloom and grow like your marriage. Weddings with garden motifs, environmentally themed weddings and ceremonies in outdoor or rustic settings choose favors like potted plants, seedlings, flower seed packets and miniature bamboo shoot plants.

• Other brides prefer a permanent keepsake that is both useful and attractive. Some of the favorites are picture frames, candles and candleholders, glass bowls filled with colored sand or rocks, small books or albums, CDs with favorite songs, ornaments for Christmas weddings, coffee mugs with coffee or hot chocolate packets tucked inside.

• Some couples are choosing to make a donation to a favorite charity rather than provide a gift item. In that case, a printed card is included in each place setting which informs the guest of the donation.

• Be sure that each item has a thank you note attached. They are likely to be pre printed although handwritten notes are lovely as well.

• The placement of favors depends on space available. Many brides have the favors arranged on a separate table near the exit for guests to make their own selections. Or you can ask a friend or friends to help with the distribution as guests leave the party.

• Grouping the favors in the center of the table in an attractive basket or on a mirror does double duty. It insures a centerpiece without incurring the cost of flowers, and thanks the guests for sharing in your special day.

Work with one of our consultants for more ideas on ways to thank wedding guests and special friends.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL: Anyone who books a consulatation with me in the next month will get 20% off their final package price! Take advantage of this special savings and please mention the code:wedding to me! email me at or call me at 708-268-7528! Act soon cause this special will expire on Monday November 26th!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cake Layers

We would like to share some fun thoughts about wedding cakes.

The cutting of the cake has historic roots.  In ancient Rome the first bites of a wheat cake were eaten by the couple and the remainder crumbled and tossed over the bride’s head like a rain of flour – a fertility rite believed to guarantee the couple lots of kids and a life of plenty.

There is a tradition that says a bridesmaid who carries a slice of wedding cake in her pocket until the honeymoon is over will marry soon.  But not too many bridesmaids today care to carry a gradually drying slab of sugar and flour into the office with them.

According to some customs, small silver ornaments can be taped onto ribbons and placed on a plate under the cake.  Before it is cut, single females pull on a ribbon end to see what ornament they receive.  Each one is symbolic.  A wedding ring signifies marriage, a heart – love, an anchor – hope and a fleur de lis – wealth.

It is also said that guests who put a sliver of the groom’s cake under their pillows will dream of their future spouses.  You have no doubt heard of groom’s cake and wonder if you should serve one at your reception.  For a while it was not widely used, but today’s brides are reviving the tradition.

Typically, the groom’s cake is a dark, rich fruitcake.  But that is also changing.  Whatever its flavor and theme, it can be featured as a companion cake to the more familiar white frosted bride’s cake.  Some weddings have both cakes available for guests and on display.  Some brides elect to have an iced groom’s cake as the top layer of the bride’s cake.  Others choose to pack slices of the groom’s cake in small boxes and have bridesmaids or other helpers distribute them for everyone to take home as a sweet memento of the wedding.

Contact us for more ways to combine or revive traditions for your unique wedding.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wedding and Event Special

Weddings and Events by Kristin is now offering a 15% off special now through November 15,2012 so please call or email now before things book up! We offer 4 packages, an hourly rate or can customize a package to fit your needs so please contact us asap and happy planning!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cost saving ideas!

The National Retail Federation commissioned a survey on consumer spending conducted by a major research firm.  There were many economic indicators that tended to vary by product area.  But when asked to summarize the findings, the conclusion was “Spend where you need to, save where you can.”  This is good advice for our brides.  Couples coming to us for ideas on how to save money without hurting their wedding dreams find wonderful and practical ideas.

We always counsel our brides to be aware of ways to either bring costs down or keep them in check.  Done in the right places, there are many ways to save on costs and take nothing away from the wedding they have planned.

Because it is the most costly aspect of most wedding plans, major savings can be realized through reception adjustments.  We recommend that our brides consider these ideas.

  • Look for a location that both fits the occasion and requires very little decorating enhancements.  Many spots are fine the way they are.  If brides wish to add décor, most event planners would agree that creating one large decorative element is not only dramatic, but also more budget friendly than a dozen smaller elements scattered around the room.

  • When considering decorating options, always picture the room full.  We counsel brides not to spend excess dollars on décor items that only the first few guests walking into the room will see.  Don’t waste money on decorating the skirting of any of the tables for instance.  As one wedding planner says, “Think tabletop and up”.

  • During receptions, caterers will say that people tend to take less food if it is passed by the wait staff than if it is placed on a buffet table.  The same is true of champagne or other beverages.  The good news about this is that less food or liquor can be ordered and guests still feel pampered.

  • If it is important to the couple to serve a sit down dinner, we suggest that instead of ordering just one high-end entrée they order half portions of two main entrée items.  For example, combining half portions of prime rib and chicken breast, helps to bring down the cost per plate while offering guests a selection with depth.

  • One consultant suggests ordering sandwiches for entertainers and servers instead of the full banquet meal, and having them set up in a separate room from wedding guests.  It gives the staff a place to “get away” for a break and provides food that they can “grab and go” if needed.

For more “invisible” ways to manage costs at your reception, talk with one of our experienced consultants.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Invitation Tips

Because the invitations reflect the tone of your wedding they should be considered early on in your planning activities.  Once you have developed your guest list, selected your ceremony and reception venues and decided on the degree of formality you wish to express throughout your wedding, you can comfortably begin to search for your invitations and other printed materials. Do not be overwhelmed by the myriad of choices that are available for you.  At one time, there were few options in paper and print styles.  Today’s bride has a wide range of both from which to select. 

Consider these points as you shop for your paper trousseau.
  • Take your business to a store that specializes in wedding papers.  The staff there will have the expertise and experience to help you with paper selections and correct wordings.  Their advice can end up saving you time and often money as well.
  • You will likely be ordering more than just invitations so consider these other items as well:
Save the date cards, insert cards (directions or other information) RSVP cards, place cards and table assignment charts, menus, thank you cards, programs and of course the invitations.  Figure in all of the options as you look at pricing.
  • When you place your order, be sure to order extras of every item.  Make sure that you send one of everything to yourself when the rest go out so you can monitor the delivery dates.
  • Be sure that you allow enough time to order, address and send the invitation packages.  Double check with your print specialist on the time frame required for satisfactory order completion.  Most experts agree that invitations should go out 6-8 weeks prior to the ceremony.
  • Consider purchasing special issue postage stamps rather than just ordinary stamps.  Check with your local postal service for the options that may work for you.  Be sure to check on delivery times if you select a personalized stamp pattern.  Always take a sample of your fully “loaded” invitation package to the post office to verify the amount of postage to put on each.  How embarrassing to have it arrive at your guest’s home with “postage due”.
  • Always, always double-check the proofs of the invitation copy.  Have someone else double check you as well.  It is easy to skip over and not notice errors in copy with which you are so familiar.  A misspelled name can cause unnecessary delays and expense.
  • If children are being invited to the wedding and reception, their names are usually included on the envelope, clearly letting the parents know that the children are invited.  If children are not to be included, just the invited guest’s names are on the invitation.  This lets the parents know exactly for whom the invitation is intended.  If children are not being invited to attend – for whatever reason, plan how you will handle requests from guests who wish to bring their children.  Have alternative plans in place in case this becomes an issue.

When you are ready to begin the selection of your invitations and paper trousseau, be sure to spend time with one of our experienced consultants who can make sure you have a perfect invitation for your perfect wedding.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


The history of bridesmaids is time and culture dependent.  However, their main charge seems to have been to “protect” the bride, “intervene” on her behalf and/or help outsmart the evil spirits who gathered as a group at weddings and other happy events.

Today’s bridesmaids still fulfill some of those roles, even if the evil spirit happens to a former boyfriend with too much champagne and too little class, or a college roommate who thinks it would be fun to “steal” the bride between the ceremony and the reception.  Bridesmaids can often be the voice of reason when they hear “Let’s ______, it’ll be funny.  You’ll see.”  They can put a stop to nonsense early.

Bridesmaids give up time and money in return for the honor of being witnesses to the bride’s very special day.  We urge our brides to remember the important role they play in her wedding and to pay attention to thanking them for their help and caring.

Here are some tips we have gathered over the years.

  • Selecting the bridesmaids’ dresses does not have to be an occasion of conflict.  Cost, style, color and accessories can be issues only if you let them.  If you can help financially, by all means do so.  If your wedding party represents a wide collection of sizes and shapes, work closely with a skilled and experienced wedding consultant who knows the best vendors to chose to work with your wedding.  An experienced retailer will work hard to make sure that the shopping experience is rewarding for all, and will insure that what you have ordered is what you’ll receive.  If the bridal retailer is a member of National Bridal Service, you can relax and know that all will be well.

  • Make sure that your bridesmaids are getting enough attention from you.  Keep them in the loop about events and plans.  Accept help if it is offered.

  • Make sure they have a clear idea of what to do and what you expect.  Your maid of honor can take on the responsibility of keeping all maids in the loop.  Don’t be too demanding.  Just because your wedding is consuming your every waking moment, bridesmaids do have lives beyond the wedding.

  • Be sure to assemble a survival kit for the wedding.  Work with your personal attendant to make sure all necessary items are in the kit and trust her to bring it to the dressing area of the ceremony location, and to reclaim it after the ceremony. A good wedding planner will always take good care of this.

  • Make sure to thank bridesmaids often.  Thoughtful gifts are appreciated. 

Take time to ask questions, share concerns and plan ways to make bridesmaids feel truly a part of this very special day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Center of Attention

Brides frequently ask us about centerpieces for their wedding reception.
The list of options is long and varied but these are some of the most often used by brides.

If your florist is providing centerpieces for your reception, work closely with him/her to be sure that the theme or color thread you have chosen for your wedding continues to the reception area.  We have seen weddings where one theme dominates the ceremony and another is chosen for the reception.  If the two are complimentary, it is soothing.   If the choices are worlds apart, it can be jarring to move from one to another.  Complimentary themes are comfortable.

If you are handling reception centerpieces on your own, here are some ideas to keep in mind.
  • A centerpiece should never block a guest’s view.
  • If color has been a theme for your wedding celebration – introduced in the invitations and save the date cards – it should continue through the reception and any next day celebrations you plan.
  • For informal centerpieces arrange flowers to have a “just picked” look.  Use wild flowers or branches of seasonal flowers for an unusual impact. 
  • Formal centerpieces are usually symmetrical in either a triangular, circular or rectangular shape.
  • Flowers may be used as a centerpiece and/or casually placed at each place setting.
  • Create a still life with fruits, flowers and vines arranged on a lovely tray.
  • Pitchers – used singly or in groups, make attractive containers.
  • Pretty baskets filled with blooming plants and tucked in with moss work well.
  • Arrange several crystal candlesticks on a mirror as a centerpiece.  Insert candles in your color theme or use creamy white.  Just remember that they should be tall enough to be above eye level or low enough so that the flame will not be annoying.
  • Also grouped on a mirror, consider using wine glasses each with a flower afloat.
  • If the facility can handle it, some centerpieces can be hung above the tables in special baskets.

Remember that the size and shape of a centerpiece should be in proportion to the table and flowers should never be so fragrant that they overpower the food served.

Contact us for more centerpieces ideas.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Custom Website and Pinterest Boards

Excited to be adding some new features to Weddings and Events by Kristin. We now offer custom wedding websites for our Happy Couples. Your own website it a great way for guests to have your wedding and reception information, as well as registry information, an rsvp area, etc. literally at the tips of their fingers. (Pricing available upon request.) Our second update is sharing wedding/event ideas with our clients through Pinterest. We can either create a Pinterest Board on the client's account, or add one to our profile that can be posted on by the client as well, We are continuously working on ideas to better serve you and hope you enjoy these new features. Happy Event!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Saw the Sign

Signs at weddings have become increasingly more popular over the last few years. Besides being functional, these signs add a really fun touch. (I especially love them at outdoor events or in an otherwise rustic setting.) What's great about this particular decor is that it is such an easy DIY project! I stumbled upon a great tutorial for it. Hope this helps some of you future sign makers out there.

(Originally from A Country Nest,

wooden wedding sign tutorial

Our wedding theme is rustic elegance and I think these are going to be perfect signs for guests out of town trying to locate our venue. Plus, the remainder will be for ceremony/reception decor.

I practiced on a sample piece of wood today to see how hard/simple this project would be.
I plan on finishing up the remainder of signs within the next two weeks.

Here's what you do:

First, measure the wooden board you are going to use. Adjust the letters to fit and cut them out with your vinyl cutting machine (i.e. Cricut). 

Next, peel out the letters the machine cut & keep the stencil portion on the original backing.
Apply clear transfer tape over top of your stencil and rub. Peel the vinyl backing off by pulling back the transfer tape gently.

Next, apply the stencil to your wooden board. Smooth out the air bubbles with your hand.
It'll look like this:

Pull back the transfer tape, leaving only the stencil behind.

Apply tape around the edges of the stencil to secure the lining & keep the spray paint from getting on the extra wood.

Because of the type of wood I chose, white spray paint wouldn't adhere to the board. 
I recommend testing it out on the backside prior to in order to make sure it'll stick.
The only open can of white paint we had in the closet was ceiling paint, so that's what I used for the base layer.

After I painted on the base layer with this, I let it dry for about 10 minutes then applied indoor/outdoor white spray paint on top for a second coat (not pictured).

{1st coat}

This is the final product!

Here are a few I've gotten inspiration from..

This post is linked up with Craft-O-Maniac!


Hi all! I'm Kristin, your friendly neighborhood wedding and events planner. I absolutely love my job because of all of the great people I get to meet and help create magical moments for. Planning for a wedding, corporate event, graduation party, etc. can be a daunting and stressful task. That's where I come in. Planning and providing assistance takes all of the stress out of the event for the client so they are able to relax, enjoy, and make great memories.
I'm also starting this blog to help guide you through planning a wedding or other event. Interested in DIY wedding invitations? Want to know how to host the perfect outdoor graduation party? Check back to find out that and more in my following blog posts.
Also follow me on Pinterest for tips, ideas, inspiration, and more.
Can't wait to help plan your event!